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Bending the Spine

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: The Bourne Objective by Eric Van Lustbader

Facing down mercenaries in Africa, Jason Bourne witnesses the death of an art dealer named Tracy Atherton. Her killing dredges up snatches of Bourne's impaired memory, in particular the murder of a young woman on Bali who entrusted him with a strangely engraved ring­-an artifact of such powerful significance that people have killed to obtain it. Now he's determined to find the ring's owner and purpose. But Bourne never knows what terrible acts he'll discover he committed when he digs into the past.
The trail will lead him through layers of conspiracy to a vicious Russian mercenary, Leonid Arkadin, who was also a graduate of the Central Intelligence training program Treadstone. A covert course designed to create ruthless assassins for C.I., it was shuttered by Congress for corruption. Yet before it was dismantled, it produced Bourne and Arkadin, giving them equal skills, equal force, and equal cunning.
As Bourne's destiny circles closer to Arkadin's, it becomes clear that the eventual collision of these men is not of their own making. Someone else has been watching and manipulating them. Someone who wants to know, Who is the more deadly agent?
Compact Disc
Published May 3rd 2011 by Hachette Audio (first published 2009)
ISBN: 1611138167 (ISBN13: 9781611138160)
series: Jason Bourne
I love the Jason Bourne movies.  They are exciting, full of adventure, and action-packed.  So, when I found The Bourne Objective at my local used bookstore, I jumped at the opportunity to experience the book series.  Now, this is book 8, and before committing to it I asked the lady working the register if she thought I needed to know anything about the previous books to understand this one.  Neither one of us figured I would.  So, I swiped my card for the $6 + tax and rolled outta there with my brand-new-still-in-the-plastic “used” audiobook.
That may have been the worst $6 I have ever spent.
Ok, I’ll be the first to admit, maybe I should have read the other 7 books.  Maybe I shouldn’t have started that far into the series.  Maybe…who am I kidding?  I just shouldn’t have bought it to start with.  And here’s why:
1. There was too much “understood” back story that I didn’t understand.  It really was like I came in on the butt end of an inside joke that no one explained to me.  So, this could totally be my fault, but I’ll never find out, because I’ll never read books 1-7.
2. I’m not a narrator snob, but this dude could not do accents.  At all.  His Russian and Spanish sounded so much alike I would spend too long trying to figure out who was talking, what was going on, etc. that I missed the current narrative.  Much too confusing.
3. This is something I liked: that the editors added sound effects.
4. There were way too many characters, dead and alive, to keep up with.  So many were minor and died, that they really didn’t need brain power devoted to them, but I didn’t know this, so I had to try to remember them.  Even though all, and I mean EVERY, plot lines meet up toward the end of the story, it was still too much.  I needed a Cliff’s Notes for each character’s story to keep up with it all.  The plot was just a little too intricate to translate into audiobook well.
5. I got the distinct feeling that all this mess was happening within a few months of, let’s just go with the movies since I’ve seen them, the first movie when Jason realizes that he doesn’t know anything has amnesia.  Ok, is it just me or does that seem like a way too little time has elapsed for 8 books to take place.  Really?  Hard for me to believe this.
6.  There was no resolution to the story.  Everything that happened was for one purpose, and one purpose alone.  And that purpose was never realized.  Something happened and the whole purpose behind it all couldn’t happen.  Not that I couldn’t happen now, it will never happen because it blew up.  To smithereens.  Yeah, that kinda sucks.
There’s probably more, but I’m going to stop my rant.
1 Star: I didn’t like it.  Period.
Get to reading (anything but The Bourne Objective),

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